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Exclusive overnight ridealong with Kalamazoo officers

Updated: Sunday, August 24, 2014
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - After a violent summer, Newschannel 3 gets an exclusive invitation to ride along with Kalamazoo Public Safety officers to see what goes on when the sun goes down.

Jessica Wheeler was with police late Saturday and early Sunday morning. She is live at KDPS headquarters.

A large crowd on Patterson Street is just one of many we saw last night. We were invited out to see what officers deal with on the night shift. They tell us Saturday night into Sunday morning was pretty typical: large crowds that often turn into fights then turn into shootings and stabbings.

We were with them as officers broke up crowds on the Northside and Edison neighborhoods and near Western Michigan University.

Officers tell Newschannel 3 this is the busiest summer they've had in a while.

"I would definitely say that it's pretty busy," Officer Ryan Perez says. "Compared to the last three summers that I've been here, it's definitely up there in not only crime, but we're having a lot of issues with juvenile crowds and those are obviously one of our main concerns."

Perez adds, "You can find it in the Edison neighborhood, you can find it in Arcadia, Vine, you can go all the way up to the Northside and, no matter where, you're going to find some type of violence."

Wheeler wasn't the only one who rode along with officers this weekend. KDPS tells Newschannel 3 the Kalamazoo city manager spent a few hours overnight, last night.

Last week, upset residents packed the city commissioners meeting, asking leaders to find a solution to the violence and large crowds in the city.

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